The 9 Best Instant Pot Cookbooks of 2020

Enjoy this appliance to the fullest with these top recipe collections

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Our Top Picks

Best for Families: The Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Cookbook at Amazon

"Helpfully flagged as family-friendly, fast weekday wins, meals that take over 45 minutes, and kid-friendly."

Best for Beginners: How to Instant Pot at Amazon

"The cookbook is divided into sections based on functions, like pressure cooking, slow cooking, and steaming."

Best for Vegans: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for Instant Pot at Amazon

"Easy recipes to shake up your weekly menu."

Best Keto: The Keto Instant Pot Cookbook at Amazon

"Over 65 recipes that take less than 45 minutes from start to finish."

Best for Dinner Parties: Dinner In An Instant at Amazon

"Recipes for imaginative meals that remain convenient for the cook."

Best for Flavor: Indian Instant Pot Cookbook at Amazon

"Create healthy, family-friendly Indian meals from scratch."

Best for Weight Loss: Instant Loss Cookbook at Amazon

"From hearty breakfasts to soups, pastas, and desserts, the dishes are healthy but also flavorful and satisfying."

Best for Desserts: Instantly Sweet at Amazon

"Takes the guesswork out of baking a cake or putting together a pudding inside a pressure cooker."

Best for Couples: The Ultimate Instant Pot for Two Cookbook at Amazon

"Takes into account your small household size."

Best for Families: The Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook

The Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook

 Courtesy of Amazon

Excellent
What We Like
  • Inexpensive

  • Wide variety of recipes

  • Good info about the Instant Pot

What We Don't Like
  • Paperback, so it’s not as durable

  • Information on specific buttons may be outdated

This comprehensive cookbook by Laurel Randolph gives you all the knowledge you need to start using your Instant Pot right out of the box. The book's intro takes you through each Instant Pot cooking function so you know how and when to use it. The more than 100 easy recipes clearly spell out the cooking times and pressure levels required—two of the toughest parts about using this kitchen contraption correctly. Our reviewer praised the useful tips included at the end of each recipe, which comprise information about the ingredients, how to use an Instant Pot, or cooking tips.

The recipes are helpfully flagged as family-friendly, fast weekday wins, meals that take over 45 minutes, and kid-friendly. Plus, there are options for vegetarian, gluten-free, and paleo-friendly lifestyles.

"The majority of recipes were in the 30-45 minute range, so they’re perfect for weeknight dinners."Donna Currie, Product Tester

Best for Beginners: How to Instant Pot

What We Like
  • Sections arranged by function

  • Mix of basic and more adventurous recipes

  • Detailed, varied recipes

What We Don't Like
  • Recipes were a mixed bag for some

Many home cooks have the same feeling when they first look at their Instant Pot’s control panel: intimidation. All those functions and buttons can make you nervous that you might blow up your kitchen if you make the wrong move. Luckily, How to Instant Pot, by Daniel Shumski, explains everything from the beginning.

The cookbook is divided into sections based on functions, like pressure cooking, slow cooking, steaming, etc. You’ll read a detailed explanation of how the cooking method works, when and why you should use it and some of the pitfalls you might run into along the way. The organization of the cookbook and the thoroughness of its explanations earned it high marks among many reviewers; some do note, however, that a few of the recipes didn't turn out as flavorful as they expected.

That said, the recipes are arranged in a manner so that you can build on the techniques you learn. There are several “Master Methods”—or basic recipes—followed by variations. For example, you can make a Beef and Butternut Squash Stew to get used to your Instant Pot and then make the variation of Thai Spiced Beef Stew once you feel more comfortable with the appliance. There are also a number of “Quick Fixes,” which are super short recipes, like Faux-Roasted Garlic, that will add fast flavor to any dish.

Best for Vegans: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for Your Instant Pot

What We Like
  • Flavorful, simple recipes

  • Includes troubleshooting and reference chart sections

  • Incorporates a lot of whole food ingredients

What We Don't Like
  • Some say binding is flimsy

Many people love the Instant Pot because it tenderizes meat in a matter of minutes, but this kitchen appliance is also a great resource for creating delicious, plant-based meals, too. This cookbook of vegan meals gives you easy recipes to shake up your weekly menu, like Black Chickpea Curry, Smoky Pecan Brussels Sprouts, and No-Effort Soy Yogurt. It also has a few more sophisticated ideas—like Jackfruit Tinga or Pumpkin Tamales—if you want something that goes beyond a quick weeknight dinner. Many reviewers praise the fact that the cookbook calls for mainly whole foods and that many of the recipes are oil-free.

The book even has a section devoted to troubleshooting problems with your Instant Pot and a number of handy reference charts that give you cooking times for beans, lentils, grains, and vegetables.

Best Keto: The Keto Instant Pot Cookbook

Good
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Good information on eating keto

What We Don't Like
  • Photos are sparse

Sticking to a keto diet already takes a lot of planning, so you shouldn’t have to spend more time cooking elaborate meals at night. This Instant Pot-focused cookbook aims to save you time without compromising the way you want to eat.

There are over 65 recipes that take less than 45 minutes from start to finish. Each one has under 12 grams of net carbs per serving with most of them falling below 10 grams. And if you’re completely new to the keto lifestyle, you can learn more about it from the book’s intro; it explains the principles of the diet and helps you calculate your macros to lose weight. One note from our tester: the recipes in this book skew towards recipes with Mexican and Asian flavors.

"The book touts that most recipes are done in 45 minutes or less, and for the most part, I found that to be true."Donna Currie, Product Tester

Best for Dinner Parties: Dinner In An Instant

Excellent
What We Like
  • Hardcover book for durability

  • Recipes are well explained

  • Many recipes also have slow-cooker instructions

What We Don't Like
  • Servings per recipe not consistent

Melissa Clark, the well-known New York Times food writer, initially bought herself an Instant Pot because she wanted to know what all the fuss was about. She soon found out that this small gadget could revolutionize her dinner repertoire. So, she wrote a cookbook—completely devoted to the Instant Pot. In it, she offers recipes for imaginative meals that remain convenient for the cook, such as Japanese Beef Curry, Green Persian Rice with Tahdig, Smoky Lentils, and Osso Buco. Our tester was pleased with how easy most of the ingredients were to source, and how there were substitutions suggested for those that were seasonal or unusual.

"I was pleased with every recipe I tried, and found that the number of spices (and salt) gave me tasty and well-balanced dishes."Donna Currie, Product Tester

Best for Flavor: Indian Instant Pot Cookbook

What We Like
  • Detailed, clearly written recipes

  • Short ingredient lists

  • Includes substitutions

What We Don't Like
  • Does not include nutritional information

Making Indian food at home can seem overwhelming, often because the recipes involve so many spices and ingredients and take a long time to make. But don’t reach for the take-out menu just yet. This cookbook makes it’s easy to create healthy, family-friendly Indian meals from scratch.

The recipes in this book have an average prep time of just 10 to 15 minutes and keep ingredient lists as short as possible. Several reviewers appreciated that while the recipes are detailed, they are clearly written and easy to follow. And all 50 of the meals can be made in 60 minutes or less. Plus, you’ll get helpful tips about which spices you need to stock up on (so you don’t spend a fortune) and how to substitute ingredients when needed.

Best for Weight Loss: Instant Loss Cookbook

What We Like
  • Easily sourced ingredients

  • Flavorful recipes

  • Instructions are easy to follow

What We Don't Like
  • Not all are Instant Pot recipes

  • Does not include nutritional info

Brittany Williams is more than just the author of this cookbook: She's proof that it works, having lost 125 pounds using the meal plan (and of course, her trusty Instant Pot) herself. Inside Instant Loss Cookbook: Cook Your Way to a Healthy Weight with 125 Recipes for Your Instant Pot, Pressure Cooker, and More, you'll find 125 recipes with a focus on dairy- and grain-free living.

Each ingredient list includes easily sourced items, including plenty of produce. From hearty breakfasts to soups, pasta, and desserts, the dishes are healthy but also flavorful and satisfying. Reviewers rave about the easy-to-follow instructions and tasty results that left them feeling full while still shedding pounds.

Best for Desserts: Instantly Sweet

What We Like
  • Straightforward recipes

  • Easily sourced ingredients

  • Includes tips and tricks for beginners

What We Don't Like
  • Many cake recipes call for box mixes

One of the Instant Pot's claims is that it can be used to make every course—yes, even dessert. It might seem strange to bake a cake or put together a pudding inside a pressure cooker, but these pages promise to take the guesswork out of it.

As the title implies, the ideas go beyond the final course to include other kinds of sweets, such as quick bread and breakfast treats. From pies and cobblers to lava cakes, quick and easy indulgences are now perfectly achievable with Barbara Schieving and Marci Buttars' Instantly Sweet: 75 Desserts and Sweet Treats from Your Instant Pot or Other Electric Pressure Cooker. Several of the cheesecakes, such as the vanilla pumpkin with maple glaze cheesecake and the strawberry swirl cheesecake, were standouts among many reviewers.

Best for Couples: The Ultimate Instant Pot for Two Cookbook

What We Like
  • Detailed, clear instructions

  • Includes nutrition facts

  • High-quality binding

What We Don't Like
  • Small, faint typeface

Slow cookers and pressure cookers are known for making big batches of food, which isn’t convenient if you're not feeding a crowd and don’t want your fridge packed with leftovers the next day. Thankfully, this Instant Pot cookbook takes into account your small household size by offering recipes that are perfect for just two people.

The Ultimate Instant Pot® Cookbook for Two: Perfectly Portioned Recipes for 3-Quart and 6-Quart Models has recipe ideas that cover any meal you may want to make—from snacks to dinners—and, as many reviewers highlighted, provides nutrition facts, prep time, and cooking time at the start of each recipe, so you know what you’re in for.

Final Verdict

The Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook is our top pick due to its wide variety of recipes and the helpful tips included at the end of each recipe. Plus, most of the ingredients are easy to find. If you're only cooking for two or don't have room for leftovers, we suggest The Ultimate Instant Pot Cookbook for Two. Not only are the recipes already portioned, but reviewers highlight the useful info included with each, such as nutritional facts, prep time, and cook time.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

Julia Warren is Director of Product Testing for The Spruce Eats. In addition to Instant Pot cookbooks, she has also written about the best Mexican and vegan cookbooks of 2020. One source Julia trusts for sous vide recipes in particular is America's Test Kitchen: "The times and temperatures that you need to sous vide perfectly need to be precise, and [they're] one of the few sources I trust to test out all my favorite recipes," she says.

What to Look for in an Instant Pot Cookbook

Type of recipes: You can cook almost anything in an instant pot, and there are cookbooks to help show you how. Some are general and cover a little bit of everything, while others cater to specific types of foods or diets. Your taste and dietary needs will help you choose the right one for you. 

Recipe complexity: While instant pots are meant to make cooking simpler, some of the recipes for them can be quite complicated. Consider your cooking skills as well as your desire to experiment. Rest assured, though, that there are great books out there for everyone, from beginning cooks to those who want to get creative with their cuisine.

Style: Some cookbooks are more utilitarian, while others are like works of art with beautiful photography and gorgeous styling. If you're one who likes to linger over your cookbooks or display them, this may be more important to you. On the other hand, if your cookbooks end up stain-splattered and you’re fine with that, you’ll probably be more interested in the words inside the cookbooks than their appearance.

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